Senior citizens of the Perm Territory and fears associated with new technologies  

Shirinkina N.A. (Perm, Russian Federation)


                page 176180


The present article covers the formation and functioning of socio-cultural fears that have developed among pensioners from the provincial towns of the Perm Territory (Urals). Fears are considered as stable forms of understanding the current social reality. This reality becomes relevant to people whose habitual way of life (work-life balance) has abruptly changed. The author provides an analysis of various methodological approaches to studying fears in the Russian society. In particular, P. Shtompka considered fear to be the primary emotion accompanying cultural trauma. Reference to the concepts of cultural divide, contradiction of old and new meanings is of methodological importance for this study. The empirical study employed a qualitative approach, with semi-structured focused one-to-one interview being chosen as the research method. The empirical base of the study consists of 22 interviews with the senior citizens of Perm and Kungur (Perm Territory). The selection of informants was carried out in 20182019 using the snowball method to form the sample population. Using materials of the interview, consumer fears were grouped according to their causes: 1. credit practices and banking products; 2. growing role of modern technologies in everyday life and its consequences; 3. food. The author makes a suggestion about the causes of fears shared by the third generation. Senior citizens are afraid of new payment methods, payment terminals, queue management systems, mobile devices and household appliances. Fears associated with the use of new devices and technologies are complex. Senior citizens are afraid not only of new devices and technologies but also of the unreliability of information about them. The fears are rationalised with the help of the media, in particular, television, where the fears are supported by authority figures (scientists, doctors). Consumer fears stem from a fixed mindset and deep-rooted stereotypes in relation to everything new and alien. The fear of new social conditions and norms finds its continuation in a wide range of specific household and consumer fears.

Key words: consumer practices, social fear, people of the third age, cultural trauma, digital technologies, household appliances.


DOI: 10.20874/2071-0437-2019-46-3-176-180


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Submitted: 21.03.2019

Accepted: 10.06.2019

Article is published: 26.09.2019


Shirinkina N.A.

Perm State Institute of ulture, Gazety Zvezda st., 18, Perm, 614000, Russian Federation